safeagent Board Director John Midgley has been in Cambodia, volunteering his time with Habitat for Humanity GB and safeagent accredited firm Touchstone.
John led the team of volunteers helping to help build a home for a young family, Lok Heanh and Soeum Poeun and their two young children. Soeum Poeun is a sole provider for his family, and has to work away from home, where he earns just 12,000 riels (3 US dollars) per day. He rarely has time to come to visit his family, and they cannot save enough money to buy a new house on their own. The family is one of the poorest by their village’s standard as they do not even own a toilet or have electricity.
They currently live in a self-constructed house that is made from palm leaves and small structures to keep it all together. During strong rains or typhoons, the house leaks, impacting on the health of their two young children. They dream of having a new home, but they live hand to mouth and cannot afford it.
Lok Heanh says, “It is like a dream comes true to hear that Habitat will bring a group of volunteers to work on building us a new house. I feel so happy and blessed.”
This is the fourth year John has volunteered his time with Habitat for Humanity, spending the last three years in Malawi, helping to build homes there. This year, he faces different conditions in Cambodia. He says:
“It was very hot, but the build went really well. It was great to be leading a Touchstone team who clearly understand the need to help the most vulnerable in society, wherever they are.”
The team says their time has been “Exhausting, emotional, and challenging.” They enjoyed really making a difference, getting to know each other better, and to learn and understand Khmer culture.
Well done everyone, we’re very proud of you!